Scene 1


White screen. Music starts [Everloving by Moby]  and plays for 10-20 seconds without video. At appropriate time the scene slowly fades in, replacing the white.


(Mid Afternoon)  With all the pomp and circumstance that is medical school graduation, the distorted voice of the dean can be heard, through the reverberating loud speakers above the crowd of nervous and excited family and friends.   As the camera pans across the crowd, the campus police (4 of them) are marching down a hall toward the graduation and then move meticulously through the audience looking for Richard.  The scene switches between the crowd and the campus police as the dean is heard speaking intermittently.


Dean Whitlow

speaking slowly and clearly

Welcome parents, friends, and assorted admirers. We are here because the 196 men and women before you have with their limitless dedication and effort over the past four years earned the right to call themselves ...... physicians. They came here with the dream to serve those in need, to heal the sick, to wrestle health from the hands of death and disease. With their sites set on the oath of Hippocrates...


The campus police grab Richard and throw him to the ground. Mayhem ensues, and they cuff him and take him off as the astounded crowd looks on.  In the middle of it all Richard looks at the camera and the scene is frozen - he then starts to narrate. This narration is done all together with no breaks, and the scenes change accordingly.


Richard Cartwright

You can take any given situation and trace the path you took to get there. I mean, there are things that happen, but then there are the reasons that things happen.


Cut to earlier in the day: Richard and Taylor sitting proudly during the preliminary graduation activities.



Look at me.  I was 23 minutes and 51 seconds from graduating from medical school, the crown jewel of graduate education. 


Cut to Richard being dragged down a long hall by several policemen, with Richard still narrating. You can tell by the way the cops mouths are moving, they are yelling at him.



23 minutes and 51 seconds away from giving my parents reason to go to dinner parties, long after they’ve ended up hating each other.


Scene changes to a dinner party, with middle-aged people milling around a punch bowl obviously chatting and laughing at an older man with the sweetest comb-over anyone has ever seen.



You know what I mean.  Everything they wanted for themselves but never achieved is played out again and again around the punch bowl with their so-called friends.


Cut to scene of Mr. Cartwright in cubicle, pushing papers.


They get to work at nine and wait for the clock to hit five...


Cut to scene of Mr. Cartwright on his knees, kissing a banker's ass.


They kiss ass and jump through the appropriate hoops,


Cut back to punch bowl.


To create for themselves a piece of themselves who is a doctor...a physician.  A piece of themselves who will serve those in need, heal the sick, wrestle health from the hands of death and disease but most of all save me from the thought that I'm an old man with a miserable job, a failing marriage, and a garden of unplanted dreams.


Cut to dark smoky room with same middle aged people playing poker around a poker table. Music changes to saxophone jazz.


Middle age becomes some sick competition between bored parents.


Close up of Ms. Beck putting down three of a kind.


Cut back to punch bowl.


Ms. Beck

smiling contentedly

Jack is about to start his final year of business school.


The group of middle agers hoo and haw in approval.


Cut back to poker game, Mr. Johnson puts down four of a kind and a pair.


Mr. Johnson

Holly is about to graduate from law school. She's leaning toward contracts and grants, but we’re trying to encourage her to pursue corporate law.


Richard Cartwright

Law school. I question the motives of many of my medical school colleagues but law school is a different story altogether. I mean does anyone really want to practice law?


Cut to Ethan in the middle of a law school interview / music dies down to a whisper.


Law school interviewer

Well, Ethan I see you took the MCAT and the LSAT.


Interviewer pauses and looks at Ethan with suspicion, inwardly questioning the authenticity of the applicant before him. Ethan does not seem the least bit uncomfortable with this scrutiny.


Why do you want to go to law school?



Well I'm about to graduate from college, and I need to make at least as much money as my dad, and I have no marketable skills, and, well, by process of elimination it's either law school or med school. And law school is only three years...


Cut back to poker game, Mr. Cartwright puts down a straight flush.


Mr. Cartwright

Richard was recently accepted into medical school.


Cut back to punch bowl. At this the crowd of middle aged parents, though they are insanely jealous, can not hide their enthusiasm. They are very impressed.



without stressing the curse words

Anyway, the straight flush is your child in medical school. Parent of the fucking year.


Cut back to poker scene. Richard enters and sits down as Mr. Cartwright slowly collects all the money in the pot. The adults don't see him. Richard is narrating - not talking.


Now, I know what you’re thinking: if you could see through your parents' bullshit then why go? Well, we all have our reasons...